In the banana producing regions of Colombia, rural communities are beneficiaries of social policies of health care, education, housing, etc. designed and implemented by the CSR programs of banana trading companies. Banana agribusinesses have developed CSR schemes as a way to legitimise their operations. These schemes exist despite the wrongdoings of the business in countries like Colombia, where the banana agribusiness has been actively involved in the armed conflict of the country, boosting violence and agrarian inequalities in the regions where they operate. In this paper, I analyse the persistence over time of CSR, from a political economy perspective, and the way it has become ingrained in our society. Through an archival review and in-depth interviews, I show that CSR is a social system that has diverted what we understand by the social and environmental concerns that surround the market. This paper is an effort to understand the political economy of CSR, highlighting how the cultural and social structures that compose this system interplay to result in contingent realities on the ground. It is also an effort to understand the complex realities of agribusinesses, social policies, violence and inequalities that exist in rural areas of Colombia and Latin America.

, , , , ,
Knio, Karim
Social Policy for Development (SPD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Bonilla, Natalia Abril. (2021, December 17). The silencing forces of CSR Social policy, violence and agrarian inequalities in Colombia’s banana plantations. Social Policy for Development (SPD). Retrieved from